Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Bipolar disorder is the brain disorder that causes changes in a person’s mood, ability to function, and energy.


Bipolar disorder has a category that includes three different conditions of a person including bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder.


The disorder is also defined as a condition that features extreme shifts in mood, activity levels, and fluctuations in energy that can make a day-to-day living and be doing daily activities difficult.


People with the bipolar disorder usually have intense and extreme emotional states that occur at distinct times, called mood episodes or mood swings. These mood swings can be categorized as manic, depressive or sometimes hypomanic.


People with bipolar disorders frequently have periods of normal mood as well. The disorders can be treated, and people with these illnesses can also lead full and productive lives.




What is the Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by a mental illness which is marked by mood shifts. Its symptoms may include an extremely elevated mood called mania.


The people with the disorder can also include episodes of depression. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression or bipolar disease.


People with the disorder may have trouble in managing everyday life activities and tasks at school or workplace, or maintaining interpersonal relationships.


There’s no cure for the disorder, but there are many treatment options available for people that can help to manage their symptoms.



Facts Related to Bipolar Disorder:

  • The bipolar disorder is a condition which includes abnormalities in the mood as mental illness.
  • If a person experiences hypomania, mania, and depression, then the person may involve psychosis.
  • The mood episodes during the disorder may last for several weeks or months.
  • The disorder can be managed with medication, but it may take time to find the right dose and combination.




What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

There are mainly three types of symptoms including mania, hypomania, and depression.


If a person is experiencing mania, then he/she may feel an emotional high. After this, they can feel excited, euphoric, impulsive, and full of energy. During the manic episodes, the person may also engage in behavior such as:

  • Spending sprees
  • Drug use
  • Unprotected sex


The hypomania condition is associated with bipolar II disorder. The condition is similar to mania, but it’s not as severe. Unlike the mania, hypomania may not result in any trouble at school, work, and in society as well as interpersonal relationships. However, people with hypomania still have some changes in their mood.


During the episode of depression a person may experience:

  • Deep sadness
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Hopelessness
  • Periods of too little or too much sleep
  • Suicidal thoughts


Although it’s not a rare condition, bipolar disorder can be hard to diagnose because of its mixed and different symptoms.




How Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis?

If a person has the symptoms of the disorder, then he/she can talk to a doctor or a psychiatrist. The doctor will ask some questions related to mental illnesses.


The person will also undergo a complete psychiatric evaluation to tell they have likely bipolar disorder or another mental health condition.


Bipolar disorder diagnosis is all about the person’s symptoms and determining whether the person may be the result of another cause of low thyroid, mood symptoms caused by alcohol abuse or drugs.




What are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?

There are several possible causes of bipolar disorder which include;


If parent or sibling has bipolar disorder, then a person is more likely to develop the condition. However, it is not important that if a people who have bipolar disorder in their family history don’t develop it.



The brain structure may impact the risk for the disease. Several abnormalities in the functions or structure of the brain may increase the risk of having the disorder.


Environmental factors

Last but not the least. some environmental factors are also responsible for developing the disorder. These factors may include;

  • Traumatic experiences
  • Extreme stress
  • Physical illness

Each of these factors may influence people who develop bipolar disorder. However, a combination of factors contributes to the development of the disorder.




What are the Treatments for Bipolar Disorder?

There are several treatment options are available for managing the bipolar disorder. These treatment options include medications, lifestyle changes, and counseling. Some natural remedies are also effective in the treatment of the disorder.



A person with the disorder can use medications for his/her mood stabilizing, for antipsychotics, and for treating antidepressant-antipsychotics conditions.




Recommended psychotherapy treatments are;


1. Cognitive behavioral therapy

The therapy is a type of talk therapy. In this therapy, the patient and the therapist talk about the ways regarding how to manage the bipolar disorder. They will help you to understand the thinking patterns and positive coping strategies.


2. Psychoeducation

Psychoeducation is a kind of counseling that helps the patient to understand the disorder.


3. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy or IPSRT focuses on regulating daily habits like sleeping, exercising, and eating. Balancing these everyday basics can be helpful for people to manage their disorder.


4. Other treatment options

Other treatment options may include:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Supplements
  • Sleep medications
  • Acupuncture



Lifestyle Changes

There are also some simple steps under the lifestyle changes that help people with the disorder to manage their condition:

  • Keep a routine for sleeping and eating.
  • Learn to recognize the mood swings.
  • Taking help from a friend or relative to support the treatment plans.
  • Talking with doctor or healthcare provider.





As we all know that the bipolar disorder is not a common disorder as well as cannot be diagnosed easily but small changes and loving support can help people with bipolar disorder to recover fast. People with bipolar disorder only need our love and support.

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